Nighthawking Seminar. Suzie Thomas and the Council for British Archaeology ISSUE 2

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1 All the latest news from the National Council for Metal Detecting ISSUE 2 Nighthawking Seminar The seminar hosted by English Heritage included speakers from the DCMS, NCMD, Police, English Heritage and a representative in the form of John Browning from the NFU (National Farmers Union). CONTENTS P1-5 NCMD News P5 Caption Competition P6 Yorkshire Region P6-7 Scottish Region P7 Anglia Region P8-10 Midland Region P10 Book Review P11-12 NCMD Bulletin From the start there were statements from Dr Wilson and Professor Cunliffe, that "Responsible metal detectorists are not being targeted and that neither English Heritage or the CBA or any other body as far as they were aware had any intention of banning metal detecting. The purpose of the seminar was to follow on from the nighthawking report and find ways to combat illegal metal detecting on Schedules sites. However, it became apparent from a number of speakers that there was intent to introduce restrictions and controls wherever possible. This is viewed by many as a means to further restrict legitimate detector users. The police admitted a lack of knowledge on the subject at Constabulary level. Hoping to enlist accredited volunteer Nighthawk Reporters from around the country. The NCMD President John Wells gave an address which spelt out the NCMD position in plain language. The NCMD has not, does not and will not condone or encourage going equipped to steal. The NCMD encourages the full use of the law and supports the strongest actions against wrongdoers. The fact that I have to say this in open forum is an indictment on the system that has for years put my organisation on the back foot and imputes the integrity of my members and thousands of other law abiding detectorists who would no more consider going equipped to steal than they would otherwise break the law. A full transcript of John s address can be found on the NCMD Forum. 3 issues for 8.25 only by Direct Debit Call warnersgroup.co.uk Suzie Thomas and the Council for British Archaeology Suzie Thomas, Community Archaeology Support Officer for the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) attended the NCMD Executive meeting in November as a guest. Suzie presented the preliminary findings of the CBA Community Archaeology survey carried out during the summer. The aim of the survey was seeking to establish the nature of the involvement in archaeology by various types of voluntary archaeological groups including metal detecting clubs and individuals. She also presented brief details of a forthcoming conference taking place in March 2010 looking into metal detecting, collecting and archaeology. The conference will be held in Newcastle. NCMD Newsletter Manager: Trevor Austin Publisher: Editor, Design & Layout: Harry Bain, Searcher Publications Ltd Typesetting, Production and Repro: Tradeset Ltd Printed and Distributed by: Warners Midlands PLC, West Street, Bourne, Lincs, PE10 9PH. 1

2 NCMD NEWS The Robin and Karolyn Hatt Memorial Trophy Competition This year's competition welcomed a bumper amount of entries from the results of coins and artefacts going through club to regional heats, to the final judging by delegates at the November meeting of the National Council representing clubs from all over the country. This year the Competition had an extra dimension. We decided to provide individual members and clubs on the central register with the facility to post their entries on our own NCMD Forum. This proved to be the perfect medium for including every member, putting so many people in the enviable position of playing their part by casting their votes in this prestigious annual event. The winning coin, artefact, plus two hoards from the Forum heats, were included with the other entries to be finally judged. Membership secretary John Rigby organised this, and I think the thread amassed the largest amount of posts than any other. I am sure this innovative measure will grow from strength to strength. I hope many more of you will join the Forum to either post an entry, or cast a vote. Each year we all comment on how difficult it is to pick a winner from entries which are all capable of coming first but this year however must rank as one of the hardest. The quality of everything on the table was superb. Best Artefact 1st. Darren Hoyle Medieval gold clasp. Ashfield M.D.C. Central Register. 2nd. Gordon Innes 13-14th Century gold & sapphire finger ring. S.A.R.G. 3rd. Jerry Morris Merchant's silver thumb seal ring. S.H.R.A.D.S. Roy Jones. Early decorated bronze flat axe. Wrexham M.D.C. Chris Fenn Iron-Age Enamelled linch pin. East Yorks. M.D.C. Jerry, Roy and Chris's entries all tied. 2 Gold miniature lock Best Artefact Winner Darren Hoyle Other Artefacts were a late-early Medieval cast copper-alloy Urnesstyle knotted beast strap mount 11th century, an enameled Iron- Age linch-pin, and a bronze socketed axe-head. Best Coin 1st. Kevin Gorman Edward I Rose Noble. North West M.D.C. Edward I Rose Noble Best Coin Winner Kevin Gorman 2nd. Dave Rogers Merovingian Tremissis. Hoyland Searchers M.D.C. 3rd. Ray Simpson Roman gold Aureus (Nero 64A.D.) Other coin entries included a William III guinea, Edward IV halfpenny, and a 5th-7th Century gold Merovingian Tremisses. Best Hoard 1st. Tom Redmayne Purse loss, 12 medieval silver coins. Individual member. 2nd. 'Tessy' 120 Roman denarius. Individual member. 3rd. The 'Buckhurst Hoard 13 hammered coins, The prizes were presented by The Searcher editor Harry Bain. Charles Smith from the south-west Region donated to the winners Purse loss, 12 medieval silver coins and runners-up, beautiful inscribed hand-made wooden bowls, examples of his craftsmanship in wood-turning. Plaques were also given to the runner's up, and to last year's winners. I would like to thank all who took part, and look forward to next year's competition with anticipation, looking forward to a bumper crop of entries. Can it possibly top this year s? Well that is up to you. Hilary Fagen

3 Valuing the Staffordshire Hoard Wednesday 26th November was the day assigned by the Treasure Valuation Committee (TVC) to value what must arguably be the most spectacular hoard of Anglo Saxon treasure ever recovered in the UK, if not anywhere. There are over 1600 items, and although much has been seen in the press and on TV only a handful of people have seen the hoard laid out in its entirety, it becomes evident from the pictures what a daunting task the TVC faced. The whole of the previous week the Committee members had laboured over reams of paper, images and spreadsheets ed to us at home, which would hopefully help us in our assessment of the valuation on the day. As is usual the TVC had commissioned provisional valuations from its expert advisors, and on this occasion were, James Ede, Bonhams, Judith Nugée (Christies) and Peter Spencer. The provisional valuations were all within the expected seven figure range and therefore did not require any further valuations to be sought. Both I and the rest of the Committee were particularly impressed with the Peter s presentation, reason, methodology and comparanda being of excellent standard. As most of you may know, besides being a finds expert, Peter is also a member of the NCMD Yorkshire Region and a long time member of the West Riding MDC. I set off at my usual time of 5.30am for the meeting, on this occasion; there would be only one item on the agenda not the usual The hoard, being so large, was laid out in the Sturge Basement, Department of Pre History & Europe, being the only place large and secure enough to assemble the whole hoard on one long table. It must be mentioned that it takes two hours for the hoard to be laid out; and each time one of the advisors visited the British Museum (BM), Ian Richardson, Janina Parol, Caroline Barton and Caroline Lyons did an excellent job of unpacking and laying out all the items in their correct numbered order. So it was when we arrived, the final pieces of the hoard were still being laid out. The work done at home in the preceding days now began to pay off. The Committee members had highlighting objects that needed particular scrutiny, large divergence in provisional valuations of particular objects, images of items that did not view well, or simply items of special interest were sought out by each member of the Committee who each compiled copious notes that we could refer to later in the day. Nearly all of the items that have appeared in the press and on TV have been of the major pieces in the hoard, however, there are hundreds of small fragments, particularly from what is probably a ceremonial helmet, that although quite small are lovely pieces of art. We decided to return to our usual meeting room in the afternoon to discuss our findings and to assess how we would arrive at a valuation. By now each member of the TVC had his own calculations on the value of the entire hoard; Norman Palmer decided to start off the afternoon by asking each member what their personal assessment was. Remarkably; the difference of opinion round the table varied by some 300,000 yes, I know a great deal of money, but in the context of the hoard, quite close. It therefore became clear that our discussions, although protracted, would eventually lead us to a consensus of opinion we could all agree. The prospect of having to stay in London for a second day had, for the time being, diminished to some extent. During this time, the hoard was still in the Sturge basement, under the careful watch of Museum staff, we had decided that although we were now in the Hartwell Room, we may need to see the hoard again, or selected items from it. This proved to be the case and several items which caused some difficulty in valuing were requested for further examination. The folded cross, the most valuable piece in the hoard, provided some discussion concerning its potential for restoration. We had conservators Photos British Museum 3

4 from the BM on hand, who were available to answer any questions put by the Committee; their opinion was that the cross would not be unfolded by the acquiring museum. However the Committee has to look at what potential buyers would do, in the opinion of the Committee any prospective buyer would in fact view the possibility of unfolding and restoring the cross, thus uplifting its potential value. There is also a potential uplift in value once the other items have been cleaned and this was also taken into consideration. As the day wore on the sheer numbers of items, particularly pommels, pyramid mounts and other sword fittings began to seem endless. Establishing a base valuation for the finest example of pommel, geometric foil backed cloisonné garnet and then attributing a value to others of that type made the work easier. We similarly applied the same methodology to pyramid mounts and sword hilt collars to their finest examples giving a fair overall comparison of type. By 6.00pm the Museum gates were closed and I was parked inside the museum car park, perhaps an overnight stay was needed! To assess the small fragmentary pieces; which are quite considerable in number, the expert valuers had either not attributed a value to these items or had given a collective figure. For the most part these pieces are extremely small, some unrecognisable as objects or part of object, but under the Treasure Act they are treasure and therefore have value. It could be argued that simply by having association with the Staffordshire Hoard these unrecognisable pieces would attract a premium; which is what we decided, and therefore attributed a suitable figure. The valuation complete we congratulated ourselves on a difficult job well done, as the member representing finder s interests I believe it to be a fair result for the finder and landowner. The valuation of 3,285,000 is a large amount of money; if you had won this amount on the lottery you would have advisors to assist and guide you from Camelot. Unfortunately we don t have that facility, but we did contact the finder and landowner to let them know our decision, which must have brought to an end a nerveracking day for them both. For myself, I was lucky enough to have contributed to the assessment of this amazing find on an even more amazing day. I was also lucky that the Museum gates were opened to allow me to drive home and reflect on what had gone before and look forward to the next exciting find. Trevor Austin Who s Find Is It Anyway? The NCMD has received a number of requests to clarify who actually owns finds made by detector users. This would seem to be straightforward; but as we will see it depends on a number of different scenarios. Let us look at the easiest first Treasure. All items of Treasure belong to the Crown, not the landowner or the finder and have always belonged to the Crown even before discovery. There is one exception to this, where there is a franchisee such as the Duchy of Cornwall the find belongs to the franchisee. However the various franchisees that exist have agreed that Treasure finds will be dealt with in the normal way and the finder and landowner will receive an ex-gratia reward of what is determined by the Treasure Valuation Committee to be a fair market value. This reward, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, is usually split equally between the finder/finders and landowner. Disclaimed items of Treasure. When an item of treasure is disclaimed by the Crown the ownership of the find will revert to the landowner. Any treasure find will need the permission of the landowner before it is returned to the finder. Any objects disclaimed in this way will be treated as though they had never been treasure and will be returned by the coroner. The coroner will give notification to the occupier and the landowner (if different) that he intends to return them to the finder not less than 28 days after the date of his notification unless he receives an objection from either of them. If no objection is received, the coroner will inform the national museum and authorise the reporting centre in writing to release the find; the reporting centre will then return the find and inform the coroner in writing that the find has been released. If the coroner receives an objection, the find will be retained by the coroner, or by the body to whom he has entrusted it, pending the resolution of the dispute between the parties. The coroner does not have the power to make a legal determination as to title as between the occupier, the landowner and the finder, and this question will, if necessary, need to be resolved in the courts. Non Treasure. These are the finds that most of us find on a day to day basis and the ones that cause the most confusion. Some detector users assume that if a landowner gives permission to metal detect, this automatically gives the finder the right to keep any finds. This is not true. The landowner does not forfeit any of his rights to legal title to finds discovered on his land simply by giving permission to detect, even if the landowner makes a charge. It does not automatically mean that finders will receive an equal share of the value of any finds that may be sold. It is always advisable to have an agreement with the landowner, either verbal or written, regarding the disbursement of any finds. The lawful owner of any non treasure find is now well established in law, in July 1995 Waverley v Fletcher; where various precedents were sited as to the ownership of chattel, (e.g. Elwes V Brigg Gas company 1886 Staffordshire Water v Sharman ) and which relied heavily on Buckland and McNair Roman Law and Common Law The three appeal Court Judges reiterated that; Where an article is found in or attached to land, as between the owner or lawful possessor of the land and the finder of the article, the owner or lawful possessor of the land has the better title. 4

5 Treading the Right Path In this issue I thought I d follow up my article on Common Land with another topic frequently discussed in my mailbag, footpaths. It is a popular misconception that you can legally metal detect on footpaths without permission and what may at first seem to be simple and straightforward can in fact be quite complicated. First of all let us look at what exactly is a footpath. A footpath or right of way to be precise, in the country falls into three categories: A footpath, a bridleway or a byway. On footpaths the public has a right of way on foot only. On bridleways, the public also has a right of way on horseback or bicycle. Byways on the other hand are part of the Queens Highway and are open to all forms of traffic; this includes motor vehicles and is subject to the same laws. For our purposes we will concentrate on bridleways and footpaths, which are the ones most detector users will be interested in. Identifying footpaths or public rights of way is usually straightforward. The Definitive Maps of Public Rights of Way is available at most libraries and local authorities and are available for public inspection. They are also marked on Ordnance Survey maps such as Pathfinder and Landranger series. So what are your rights on a right of way? The public has a right to pass and re-pass along the way; you may stop to rest, admire the view or take refreshments providing you do not cause any obstruction. Who owns footpaths? The surface of the path is for most purposes considered to belong to the Highway Authority (however duties have usually been given to local county, unitary, metropolitan district authorities to administer). What this means is that the authority owns the surface of the way and so much of the soil below (up to one spade depth) and the air above as is necessary for the control, protection and maintenance of the highway. The rest normally belongs to the owner of the surrounding land. Is it an offence to disturb the surface of a footpath? If the footpath crosses a field and it is not reasonably convenient to avoid disturbing it by ploughing etc then the answer is no, but the farmer has a duty to repair the surface, usually within two weeks for crop cultivation (Rights of Way Act, 1990). However it is an offence to damage or disturb the surface of other permanent paths. The Highways Authority also has the power to serve notice on the landowner for repairs to footpaths which have been disturbed and to prosecute the person responsible for the disturbance. To conclude let us try to put this information into some sort of acceptable procedure. Firstly if you wish to detect on footpaths that cross arable land, you will need permission from the landowner. You must also ensure that if you dig into the surface of the footpath that it is repaired to a similar state prior to disturbance. However on permanent footpaths which cross for example moorland or woodland, it is an offence to disturb the surface of the path and you would therefore need permission not only from the Authority but also the landowner on whose land the footpath may cross. It is also worth remembering that depending on the depth of any recovered finds, the owner could be either the landowner, if deeper than one spade depth, or the local authority if it is in the first couple of inches. Trevor Austin Log on and get updated Log on to our website at and view the latest hobby information and where past issues of our newsletter Digging Deep are available to download. You will also find information on the benefits that we offer our members; including the latest Insurance Certificate and together with its Terms and Conditions. Available to download as well is information relating to the law on Treasure and the voluntary recording schemes. The latest Treasure/Portable Antiquities report. In fact everything you need to know about the NCMD and the hobby. We also have a member s only forum, where you can log on and discuss the latest on a wide range of topics pertaining to the NCMD and the hobby of metal detecting. Catch up on the latest forum chat including the recent Nighthawking Seminar and view the NCMD Presidents speech in full. Caption Competition Win a year s membership to the NCMD! The image below was taken on the 15th April 1996 outside the offices of the then Dept of National Heritage, now the DCMS. The four people in the picture; John Wells, Dennis Jordan, Bob Whalley and Trevor Austin, had just emerged from a meeting to discuss the Treasure Bill. The one person not in the picture is John Fargher, who was behind the camera! The resulting picture was caricatured by Berni of the South Lanc s Club. We would love to get your ideas for a witty or humorous caption and will print the winner and a selection of the best in the next issue of Digging Deep. Send your caption ideas either by to ncmd.co.uk or on a postcard to Trevor Austin, 51 Hilltop Gardens, Denaby, Doncaster, DN12 4SA by 1st February 2010 and winner will be chosen soon after. Rules: Entries submitted by NCMD Executive committee members not allowed. The prize is non negotiable, and no cash alternative will be offered. We will not take responsibility for entries lost or damaged in the post or late in arriving or s lost in the etha. 5

6 YORKSHIRE REGION Heslington East Community Archaeology Project York and District members were invited in September 2008 by Cath Neal, the Fieldwork Officer Heslington East, University of York, Department of Archaeology to help unearth the archaeological secrets of the site of the University of York s 500 million campus expansion. This was a great opportunity for hands on experience of excavating what is a fascinating site south of the site of a late Roman masonry building whose remains were unearthed earlier by archaeologists. The dig was close to where a 1,500 year old skeleton was recently discovered. Eight members were involved over a two week period and were invited to help barrow out the spoil, to detect the spoil heaps and inside the trench and to get down and dirty with trowels. A regular update of the progress was given and any questions raised were answered, providing a great insight into archaeology. In May this year nine members were involved over a five week period in carrying out a systematic detecting survey of a new area prior to trenches being machined out, bagging finds, GPS'ing find spots, creating a finds database and producing a Google Earth find spot map. Members then detected the spoil heaps and trenches each day as 90 students carried out the excavation work. We all thoroughly enjoyed taking part and would like to thank Cath for the invitation. Phil Dunning Iron Age Gold in Scotland SCOTTISH REGION Put it down to beginners luck...in early November, hot on the heels of news of Terry Herbert s Staffordshire hoard, it was announced that David Booth, a game warden at a Stirlingshire Safari Park, had made the most important find of Iron Age gold in Scotland on his first outing with a newly bought detector. David had practised using the detector for only an hour or so before venturing on to a field, and within a few steps from the rear of his car, he detected the gold find. Four gold neck bands or torcs, each more than 2000 years old, lay glinting in the soil under his hands. After taking the torcs home and giving them a gentle clean, he filled out a treasure trove report online and submitted photographs. Archaeologists who rapidly excavated the area found that it lay in a pit within a circular footprint of a large timber round-house. They found no other artefacts or remains in what was described as a surprisingly barren site. Dr Fraser Hunter, Curator of Roman and Iron Age collections at the National Museums of Scotland, described it as a stunning find of international importance. Two of the torcs are like delicately twisted ribbon and are a local Northern European design, likely to be from Ireland or Scotland, but it is the others that dramatically increase the find s rarity value. One is an ornate torc, broken in two, in a design characteristic of southwestern France. The other, the most precious, is a hoop made of braided gold wire of ornate and flowing design. With tests ahead of where the gold originated, the pieces of foreign design may have been commissioned for someone in Scotland, or brought back by a traveller, a diplomatic emissary, mercenary, or after a marriage alliance. Dating from around 350 BC, Dr Hunter said that recent work suggested that very few items of this nature were buried for safekeeping. They were most likely buried as a votive offering, a gift to the gods, and it is expected that these are likely to be similar. Under Scottish law, the find is automatically Crown property, and the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel (SAFAP) will decide their value. 6

7 Kinross Museum Opens Kinross-shire had been without a museum for the best part of a decade as a result of dry rot and structural damage to the building where the museum and public library were housed. The museums artefacts were having to be stored in Perth Museum for safe keeping. However, this was all about to change. The local council had decided to relocate both the museum and public library into the Loch Leven Community Campus. The Campus was a multi-million pound project which would provide the Kinross-shire community with a new home for a brand new Kinross-shire High School, sports facilities, leisure amenities and much more. The Campus, with all its brand new technological equipment, will service the Kinross-shire communities needs for a good few centuries ahead. I had received an invitation to the official opening of the brand new Kinross (Marshall) Museum. Other invited guests included Professor David Munro MBE, Lord and Lady Moncrieff (Museum trustees), Friends of the Museum, council and other local government dignitaries, so it promised to be a very important local event. Lord Moncrieff, local Laird, Chief of the Moncrieff clan who resides in Tullibole Castle, is a well known history buff. David Munro has been collecting for both Kinross and Kinnesswood Museums for decades. He is into local history in a big way giving lectures to audiences all over the world. The Friends of Kinross Museum are a group of locals who subscribe a small donation annually to help promote local history. They also carry out a lot of unpaid work to help improve the local standard of life. Indeed this group of ordinary people will become the unpaid members of staff who man, open and close the public library and Museum, caring for the local need. Representatives from the construction, planning, and landscaping and other development stages involved in creating the Campus were also in attendance. A terrific day was had by all, blathering to each other and revealing all our excitement with the end product. My invitation was received as a result of my work surveying, recording, and helping the local landowners recover artefacts for display. The many lonely hours walking in rain, hail, snow and sleet, were being recognised locally by very important authorative bodies. Apart from the joy of making some very important finds this event had brought me even more pleasure, all thanks to my detector. We detectorists participate in a wonderfully rewarding hobby with many hidden bonuses. All artefacts recorded in the museums inventory, including my own, are available for display, or, for future analysis as research equipment evolves and improves, or, for reassessment as conclusion concerned with dating and implement use changes and new discoveries are made. These artefacts become a very important asset and source of knowledge and database for all future generations to ponder over. It is very important that we continue to handover, to the authorities, our finds for assessment and recording purposes. Jim Crombie The Ancient Monuments and Listed Buildings (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill Earlier this year, the Scottish Government issued a consultation document on the above bill. Section 4 of the document discusses defences involving knowledge or belief to certain offences under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 and contains a proposal within para.2.8 that s42(7) of the 1979 Act should be removed. S42(7) relates to metal detecting on scheduled areas and reads: In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (1) or (3) above, it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he had taken all reasonable precautions to find out whether the place where he used the metal detector was a protected place and did not believe that it was. The NCMD Scottish Region discussed the proposed amendment to the 1979 Act and considered that the defence statement in s42(7) of the 1979 Act should remain. A response to this effect was submitted to the Scottish Government in July On 1 October, the Secretary of the Scottish Region, Alastair Hackett, attended a meeting with four representatives of Historic Scotland to discuss the Region s response. The meeting was positive, and assurances were given that efforts would be made to devise an alternative form of words to replace s42(7) rather than have it removed completely. An amended form of wording might include a listing of acceptable defences. For example, it is only too easy to inadvertently stray into a Scheduled area where site boundaries do not follow defined natural or manmade features. They can be difficult to locate and define on the ground, especially in the context of an arable field. Only time will tell if the Region s efforts have proved successful in modifying this part of the bill. The consultation period for the above draft bill has now ended but the responses from all interested parties (including that of the NCMD Scottish Region) can be viewed at: gov.uk/index/about/consultations/c onsultation-responses-bill.htm ANGLIA REGION As a region we are not very good, but as individual clubs we are thriving. Memberships are on the up due in some measure to the recent treasure finds. Back in 1997 the East Coast Searchers was formed and started days out for club members, in those days the amount raised for charity was quite small and there were losses on a couple of occasions. Then we opened up our days to everybody in the region and it became a success, with many charities large and small benefiting from our efforts. Nowadays things have changed, many detectorists haven t access to farmland of their own, and so the Anglian Detecting Group was formed and now has 254 members. We have only two rules; carry relevant insurance cover and backfill any holes. Unfortunately, though we have held days to raise money for museums to purchase important artefacts, many local archaeologists are against us even to the point of saying in a letter headed Suffolk County Council that if we used the services of an FLO we would be charged up to 1,000 which it says would not leave much for charity. We no longer ask FLOs to attend. On a lighter though serious note that brings home the value of our insurance. On our latest day out we had a stubble fire which spread to 270 bales of straw of considerable value, a dropped cigarette end? Ken Willcox 7

8 MIDLAND REGION My brush with Cnut One of the coin types that had always eluded me was a proper Saxon penny and it was placed somewhere near the top of my wish list along with a gold stater and a few other coins. I was searching an otherwise fairly quiet field with the usual scattering of shotgun cartridge cases and odd bits of lead when I received a very sweet signal that stopped me in my tracks. I pinpointed it and dug, I could see the edge of a silver coin and it looked too thick to be hammered so I thought to myself, hmmm modern milled. It wasn t until I rubbed the soil from one face that I realised I had something rather special. I placed it back down and fumbled for my camera wanting to capture the moment and then looked more closely at my prize. I still didn t know what it was at this point but was fairly convinced it was Saxon and in above average condition. I took more pictures of it on my hand and even more after a gentle clean with a soft toothbrush and water at home. I contacted a good friend of mine and he got rid of the black deposits that had built up on it for me. I re-photographed it again so I now have the full set. It turned out to be a Cnut penny class BMC XVI, short cross type /6. Minted in Wareham by Leofric. E.H.C. Vol 1 rev. Pg 168, No 790. I m sure you ll agree it s the find of a life time and another coin ticked off my wish list. Chris Matthews Translating The Past Those lucky enough to have found a medieval seal will know what it is the second it comes out the ground. But the chances are you will not have a clue what the inscription on it says. Here are some items I have found and had translated over the past few years. The first is a lead seal that I found in the early days of the hobby. Waiting to get it translated was the longest few weeks of my life, was it a man or woman, what was the name? When the translation finally came through it read S MARGERI FIL ROB CEGI. The seal belonged to a woman, Margery daughter of Robert Siege. The closest word may be the Latin ceges meaning a variety of things including a siege, a field, or the office of a bailiff. The second seal also made from lead, is broken in half. I found the two halves separately with a two year gap! After an even longer wait than the last time this seal reads SIGILL WILL RUSSEL the seal of William Russell. It turns out that Russell is diminutive of the old French word red which may have served as a Christian name for one of William s ancestors, and suggests he, in turn, was a redhead. These two seals are 13th century and during this time not all individuals had hereditary surnames. Some did, but many individuals still used bynames, i.e., effectively nicknames, often describing personal attributes. Others were known by their Christian names plus their father s name; yet others used the name of the place where they were born as an identifier. A final group used the name of their profession. Over time, these names became hereditary, even when (e.g. the profession was no longer practised by the individual). The third is a bronze seal and has no legend at all, but depicts what looks like a rabbit. As seals were often used for legal documents I can only guess that this person s job was more important than his name, maybe he was a Warrener for a local land lord. The forth isn t a seal but half of a medieval silver guilt brooch, and reads AZARE. As it was treasure I showed the farmer before it went on its long journey through the treasure system. The farmer had studied Latin at school but couldn t decipher what it said. The legend turned out to be religious and reads LESUS NAZARARENUS REX LUBEORUM which translated is Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. I don t believe there are any other artefacts to be found, that give us such a fascinating and personal glimpse into medieval life; from their names, their jobs and even the colour of their hair! Chris Winton (Grantham Search Club) 8

9 Lancaster Crew Remembered Hidden in a small wooded valley, some six miles south of Grantham, lies Stoke Rochford Hall. On the night of 27 April 1945 Lancaster Bomber LM719 struck trees, and crashed into the private grounds. Her seven man Canadian and British crew all perished. The official enquiry placed the blame firmly on the 24-year-old pilot however, the circumstances bear further examination. The aircraft was on a training sortie and all the crew were very inexperienced: the pilot had only 60 hours flying experience. The weather, that April night, was atrocious, with severe icing and thunderstorms. Two eyewitnesses saw the aircraft, shortly before it crashed with two of its engines and a wing in flames. We will never know for certain - however, it is possible the aircraft had been struck by lightening. The official RAF report states, Radio Telegraphy communications lost and aircraft failed to acknowledge Wireless Telegraphy communications. If struck by lightening then it is possible their radio equipment was damaged and unusable. Thus, this very young, inexperienced crew, flying in appalling weather, iced up, with unknown airspeed and faced with an onboard fire, met their tragic end. The crash site was found some years ago by members of the Grantham Search Club and the aircraft type and the crew were identified from archives at RAF Hendon. One club member, David Frampton who works at Stoke Rochford Hall was astonished to find a crashed bomber on his doorstep. David, whose father was a rear gunner on Hampdens and later Lancasters during the war, decided to carry out further research and after a further twelve months traced surviving members of the aircrew s families. Grantham Search Club recovered many pieces of airframe and these were cast into a plaque by RAF Cottesmore workshops. This plaque was unveiled at a Service of Remembrance conducted by an RAF Padre and attended by 200 people including members of the search Club. Relatives of the crew travelled from Canada and Leeds. 22 banners from local branches of the RAF Association, the Royal British Legion and other ex-serviceman s associations provided a heart-warming backdrop. Family members and the Canadian High Commission laid wreaths. The engraved plaque now stands next to a Canadian Maple tree, donated by Stoke Rochford Hall s Director. Together they will form a permanent memorial in the grounds of the Hall. A specially commissioned picture of the Lancaster now hangs in the Hall, together with a display of some of the artefacts recovered by the Club. Lancaster LM719 s crew are all named on the plaque and were: Flt Lt Norman Guy, RCAF (Pilot) aged 24 FO Richard Ourom, RCAF (Navigator) aged 20 FO John Travis, RCAF (Wireless Operator) aged 20 Flt Sgt Donald Wilson, RCAF (Bomb Aimer) aged 20 Sgt Henry Jones RAF Volunteer Reserve, (Flight Engineer) aged 21 Sgt Verle Cline, RCAF (Air Gunner) aged 21 Sgt James Williams, RCAF (Air Gunner) aged 20 The six Canadians are buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, Sussex. Sgt Jones is buried in Romford Cemetery, Essex. This story has a very powerful sequel Recently the sister of the Wireless Operator, John Travis contacted David concerning the finds and history of the events leading to his death. The sister, Mrs Alleyne Murphy, never knew the full story and was searching on the Canadian Veterans Affairs website for information when she discovered the entry for her brother and the information about the remembrance plaque. Armed with this new information she contacted surviving relatives of the aircrew and it was found that she lives near the family of Verle Cline, the mid-upper gunner. A visit was duly arranged and Alleyne paid a visit to Verle s sister, Vesper. During the course of the visit when viewing each other s memorabilia, it was found that Vesper was in possession of John's High School graduation ring, which had obviously been sent to the wrong family at the time. It appears that immediately prior to the fateful flight, the ring had been placed Verle Cline s locker and then sent to the wrong family by the service police. The Canadian Air Force and Veterans Affairs, having been made aware of the mistake, held a very moving ceremony at the local air force base to return the ring to the right family. I have discussed with WW2 RAF veterans, the handling of personal effects of deceased aircrew. It was apparent from their conversations that all 9

10 personal items were treated with utmost respect and duly forwarded to the families. We speculated that the circumstances of the ring going to the wrong family may have occurred thus: The crew were getting ready to go on the flight. John, possibly forgot to take it off in his billet and not wanting to wear the ring under his gantlets would have taken it off in the crew changing room. He may then have put it into crew locker - along with letters or other personal items belonging to Verle Cline. After the accident, it was found and naturally, the service police would assume it belonged to Verle and bagged it up with his personal effects. I wonder if this is what actually happened? Certainly plausible. However without the publicity about the Remembrance Plaque which was made from metal recovered by Grantham Search Club, the connection would never have been made. Heart warming stuff indeed! David Frampton The Staffordshire Hoard Kevin Leahy and Roger Bland A beautifully designed short introduction to the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. This is going to alter our perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England in the seventh and early eighth centuries as radically, if not more so, as the 1939 Sutton Hoo discoveries did Absolutely the metalwork equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells. Leslie Webster, former Keeper of the Department of Prehistory & Europe, the British Museum. BOOK REVIEW On 5 July 2009, Terry Herbert was using a metal detector in a Staffordshire field when he began to unearth gold objects. It was a stupendous discovery, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found, glittering in the sun-light for the first time in 1400 years. Highlights of the hoard are currently on display at the British Museum in Room 37. Made up of over 1800 objects, the hoard contains some of the finest Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship and PAS artistry ever seen. This, the first book on the hoard, tells the remarkable story of the discovery, describes the fascinating collection of objects it contains, and offers an initial interpretation of the treasure and its significance. Close-up photographs show the intricate details of these amazing objects, which include fittings from the hilts of swords, fragments from helmets, Christian crosses and magnificent pieces of garnet work. This is just the beginning of the story 1 from the sale of every book will go to the Staffordshire Hoard appeal fund. PAS PAS PAS The Authors Kevin Leahy is a National Finds Adviser for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, with responsibility for early medieval metalwork; Roger Bland is Head of the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum and leads the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Publishing November pages, 46 colour illustrations, ISBN PB 4.99 See advert on page 12 for availability details Images Daniel Buxton Photography 10

11 NCMD Bulletin 52 NCMD Membership For membership joining applications, information and fees please contact: John Rigby, Membership Secretary. Tel: Enquiries For all other enquiries please contact: Trevor Austin, General Secretary, 51 Hilltop Gardens, Denaby, Doncaster. DN12 4SA. Tel: NCMD Website: NCMD Forum: Seminar: Combating Nighthawking. Reducing the Threat from Illicit Metal Detecting. Promoted by English Heritage this seminar took place on the 18th November at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London where speakers representing organisations as diverse as the Police, English Heritage, the Country Landowners and Business Association, the National Farmers Union, and the NCMD put forward their views on the activities of nighthawks and how to deal with them. The substance of these presentations and subsequent discussions was wide ranging. Although there were opportunities to challenge statements and misconceptions, the seminar time limits did not allow more than a cursory debate on any particular issue. For brevity it is not possible to reproduce in any detail the events of the day. However observations were made by the NCMD officers who attended which are of concern to the hobby, some of which are highlighted below. There remains the perception that nighthawking is a widespread and serious threat though the NCMD remain unconvinced that this is necessarily the case given the consistent lack of hard evidence produced to back up these claims. The reliance on hearsay and anecdotal evidence from both the Nighthawking Survey and some of the speakers was most telling. However we should all be concerned at the continuing lack of success in using the current legal system to actually deal with those apprehended for nighthawking and secure a conviction. Although the Nighthawking Report stated as a recommendation that no new laws were needed to tackle offenders some speakers were openly pushing for the enactment of a new law of metal detecting without consent. However the NCMD agrees with the basic finding of the Survey in that no additional legislative powers are needed, just a better understanding of how best to use those which are available. English Heritage again stated that there was no intent to ban metal detecting. However the NCMD remains unconvinced and considers this to be something of an understatement in that the unintended consequences of the archaeological pressure to deal with the unquantifiable will seriously impinge on the freedoms the responsible hobby currently enjoys. Nighthawks are criminals and by definition no laws will entirely stop their activities yet the raised profile of their activities with law makers, archaeologists and landowners will harm the hobby by default. Nighthawks will continue to operate whilst the hobby will be further restricted and controlled which is perhaps the real intent of the whole exercise. Mr. Browning, a Suffolk landowner whose land has suffered the frequent attention of nighthawks for some decades, was invited to speak on behalf of the NFU. Mindful of his obvious frustration at the lack of action by the authorities to get a grip with the issue locally, it would seem that the obvious actions which could be taken to deal with this problem, namely properly organised detector surveys of affected land, have not been undertaken. One half hearted effort on a part of the land had taken place, but it seems that in line with other nighthawked ploughed Scheduled Monuments the exercise is considered by English Heritage and local archaeologists as too costly and difficult to carry out. Lacking the will to tackle the problem in this way, it would seem that the Government s official heritage body, paid from the public purse, has found it easier to ignore the problem for the last three decades rather than deal with it head on. Perhaps that is why the well documented problems that Mr. Browning has experienced and his own efforts to deal with the nighthawks are always put forward as a prime example of nighthawking in press and other statements, reports or documents. It is of note that following the seminar on the 21st November just such an article appeared in the East Anglian Daily Times. It has been understood within the hobby that the long time actions of archaeological bodies and their policies to encourage landowners both private, public and institutional to adopt negative access policies towards metal detecting, has significantly contributed to the continued activities of nighthawks. Indeed it is highly probable that the Council for British Archaeology and their promotion of the STOP Campaign of the late 70s and early 80s started the phenomena of nighthawking. There was scant recognition of this during discussions and even less will to work to reverse these policies as a primary means to tackle nighthawking. The NCMD President John Wells presented a frank and forthright paper at the seminar, the full text of which can be viewed by members on the NCMD Forum. Conference. Portable Antiquities: Archaeology, Collecting and Metal Detecting This is to take place on the 13 and 14th March Provisional venue is the International Centre for Cultural Heritage Studies, Newcastle. It is jointly sponsored by Newcastle University and the Council for British Archaeology. It seeks to address the issues surrounding the use of metal detectors in the location of portable antiquities, the collecting and archaeology of this resource and its future management and protection. Undoubtedly a lively topic which will engender some heady debate over a number of conflicting issues. The NCMD hopes that a broad spectrum of speakers will be invited to put forward their views and that the conference is not simply to be used as a platform to promote future archaeological policies on the collecting and sale of portable antiquities as well as metal detecting. 11

12 Coroners and Justice Act This Act received its Royal Assent on the 12th November. It introduces a number of changes to the Treasure system by creating a Coroner for Treasure which it is hoped will speed up the processing of treasure finds. It also brings in a requirement to deposit Treasure finds with the Coroner and that the Secretary of State can designate others to whom Treasure finds can be reported to such as FLO s. The Act also introduces a requirement for acquirers of items which would meet the Treasure definitions to report them to the coroner for Treasure within 14 days. Implementation is not expected until spring However before then there will be consultation as to how the coroner for Treasure and other amendments will work in practice. Future issues Following the attendance of NCMD officers at the Portable Antiquities Advisory Group (PAAG) meeting on the 11th December a number of relevant topics were discussed. These include: Natural England are currently finalising their guidance for metal detecting rallies on agreement land. This is to be used by its regional Historic Environment Advisers enabling them to deal with enquiries from landowners wishing to hold such events. It appears that the Council for British Archaeology s Guidance Note for Rallies could be used as a best practice document by Natural England despite the fact that it has not been endorsed by any metal detecting organisation. Finally the Portable Antiquities Scheme has resurrected their draft leaflet for landowners entitled, Metal detecting and searching for archaeological objects in England: advice for landowners, occupiers and tenant farmers. This will be circulated for consideration by PAAG members in the coming weeks. MEETING DATES The Next NCMD Executive meeting will be 21st February The Next Treasure Valuation Meeting will be 26th February The Next Portable Antiquities Advisory Group (PAAG) board meeting will be 11th May. CONTACT DETAILS For membership enquiries contact the Membership Secretary: John Rigby 6 Arkholme Ave Blackpool, Lancs, FY1 6QJ Tel: For all other enquiries please contact the General Secretary: Trevor Austin 51 Hilltop Gardens Denaby, Doncaster, DN12 4SA Tel: Wishing all our members a happy and fruitful New Year from the NCMD 12

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